SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘Robotics;Notes’ Review, Mini-Views Featuring ‘Tropico 6’, Plus the Latest Releases and Sales

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for November 30th, 2020. It’s the last day of what is usually the busiest month of the year, but the Switch still has plenty of fire left for December. We’ll see that as the week goes on, but for today we’re mostly looking back. There’s a little news, a full review of Robotics;Notes by good ol’ Mikhail, a handful of Mini-Views by yours truly, summaries of the new releases that popped up over the weekend, and the usual lists of incoming and outgoing sales. It’s a big read, so let’s get started!


‘SaGa Frontier Remastered’ Coming to Switch in Summer 2021

Can’t say I saw this one coming. For many Western gamers, SaGa Frontier was their first experience with a game carrying the SaGa title. It was one of the first post-Final Fantasy 7 RPGs from Square in the West, and a whole lot of people bought it expecting something that was… well, not a SaGa game, which SaGa Frontier very much is. On top of the usual quirkiness connected with the series, SaGa Frontier also suffered from feeling unfinished, like there was meant to be more to the story to tie it all together. Well, here we go. SaGa Frontier Remastered is coming to the Switch and many other platforms in summer of 2021, and it adds new content to the existing stories plus a new eighth character with his own story. Wild, I love it.


Robotics;Notes Double Pack ($59.99)

Steins;Gate was the first of 5pb’s Science Adventure series that most people, including myself, played or watched. Thanks to a late console and mobile localization that followed the original PC release, more players than ever before got to know and love Steins;Gate. Since that initial release, we’ve had a lot of Science Adventure game ports and releases through remakes and releases like Steins;Gate Elite, Steins;Gate 0, and Chaos;Child. The Robotics;Notes games never saw an official release for the west until last month when Spike Chunsoft localised and released Robotics;Notes Elite and Robotics;Notes DaSH as Robotics;Notes Double Pack on PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC. I’ve been spending time with both of these since early October on both PC and Nintendo Switch.

Robotics;Notes is the third main installment in the Science Adventure series of games that follows Chaos;Head (not yet localized) and Steins;Gate. If you’ve not read those yet, you don’t need to worry much before jumping into Robotics;Notes. I wouldn’t say they are essential for this story but you should at least read Steins;Gate because it is awesome and one of the best sci-fi stories in gaming. Unlike Steins;Gate Elite that is a remake of the original Steins;Gate with cutscenes from the anime, Robotics;Notes Elite is still very much a pure visual novel albeit with some quick time events and animated cutscenes. Robotics;Notes DaSH (included in this double pack and sold standalone) on the other hand is a sequel to Robotics;Notes Elite.

Robotics;Notes Elite is a very interesting visual novel for how it gives players freedom and how it blends in 3D models with its gorgeous CG art. While this isn’t a full on adventure game, it definitely is closer to that genre than other pure visual novels. Robotics;Notes is also more grounded than other games in the series, which gives it an interesting feel when it comes to the narrative playing out in its depiction of an alternate year 2019 in the island of Tanegashima. Without getting into any spoilers, I ended up liking the cast a lot across the different routes and was impressed at how it managed not making slice of life feel boring. Robotics;Notes is linear but you will slowly be able to experience different routes through use of the Twipo (a Twitter-like application), geotagging, winning in-game battles, and more. Just be prepared to use a guide because the game isn’t very clear about what you need to do to see everything.

Robotics;Notes DaSH should be treated like a supplement to Robotics;Notes Elite. I’d only really recommend it if you enjoyed Robotics;Notes Elite and the other Science Adventure games a lot. It isn’t a mess like many visual novel sequels released these days when it comes to the story, but it is very much a weaker experience when compared to other games in the series. Don’t expect the usual Science Adventure plot twists though. Itaru Hashida (Daru) was already excellent in Steins;Gate and it is awesome to have him play such an important part in Robotics;Notes DaSH. If you’re considering getting just one, you obviously should get Robotics; Notes Elite. You can always get Robotics;Notes DaSH if you enjoyed Robotics;Notes Elite and other Science Adventure games.

As with other 5pb visual novels on Nintendo Switch, there’s sadly no touchscreen support. I enjoy visual novels on Switch because I can just tap to progress. Barring that omission, Robotics;Notes Elite and Robotics; Notes DaSH are excellent in both docked and handheld modes. In fact, I see no real need for anyone to bother with these games on PS4 or PC since the Switch offers big screen and portable gameplay. Unlike AI: The Somnium Files which had a lot of performance issues on Switch, both Robotics;Notes games are excellent here.

Overall, the Robotics;Notes Double Pack is definitely worth getting if you enjoyed Steins;Gate. If you haven’t really played the other games, hold off on playing Robotics;Notes DaSH though. You will get the most out of Robotics;Notes DaSH only by having already played Robotics;Notes Elite and Steins;Gate. Robotics;Notes Elite on its own is a great experience and I enjoyed my time with it over the last few weeks. If you enjoy sci-fi stories and visual novels, it is worth your time. The Robotics;Notes Double Pack is an excellent package. I just hope future visual novel releases from 5pb on Nintendo Switch actually let you use the touchscreen since it is such a big part of why I enjoy visual novels on Nintendo Switch. -Mikhail Madnani

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5


The Alto Collection ($9.99)

The Alto games feel very “mobile gaming" to me, if that makes any sense. They’re beautiful, great to fill little pockets of time, and simple enough to play that just about anyone can pick them up without much trouble. That doesn’t stop this Switch collection of the two games from being a nice choice for those who prefer playing on the console, though. In fact, the excellent presentation shines even brighter when playing on a large display. The button controls work just as well as the touch controls did on mobile, and I greatly appreciate that the publisher didn’t add the customary Switch tax to the price tag. Fantastic games to chill out with, and the transition to Switch is as smooth as you would hope.

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

Mad Tower Tycoon ($29.99)

There’s a decent game in here, but Mad Tower Tycoon suffers from a few common problems we see with simulation games making their way to Switch from home computer platforms. First, the user interface has some serious issues. This game was designed to be played with a mouse and keyboard, and it feels like it. It’s so easy to make a mistake placing things, and navigating menus is clumsy. The game also seems to have a number of bugs, with some objects seemingly not working the way they should. Some of this will probably be fixed in patches, other things not likely. Still, if you can put up with some annoyances, this is a fun and more light-hearted take on the tower building simulation. It looks cute but it has surprising depth to it, putting a ton of things on your plate to deal with at all times and rarely offering you the option to solve all of them easily. Good game, but the port needs more work.

SwitchArcade Score: 3/5

Tropico 6 ($49.99)

You know, I really like the off-beat take on the city building sim that Tropico offers. Tropico 6 makes a few changes to the formula but nothing terribly… revolutionary. It’s safe to say that if you enjoyed what the series had to offer before, you’ll get right into this one. It’s a very self-aware sim with plenty of depth to offer, one that manages to nevertheless be quite accessible. The conversion to Switch goes about as well as one could hope. The loading times are incredibly long when they come up. The resolution is sometimes a bit rough, especially in handheld mode. The framerate can get ugly if you zoom out on any somewhat complex developments. On the other hand, the UI is well-designed and works particularly well in handheld mode where you can reach out and touch things as you like. It’s certainly more than playable. I do wish the DLC had been included in the purchase price, as the cost of it all feels a bit high with that stuff being sold separately. It is what it is, I suppose, and what it is is a fun simulation game with only a few technical quirks holding the port back.

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

Ghostrunner ($29.99)

Ghostrunner is a game for a very specific type of player. Imagine mashing Mirror’s Edge up with Katana Zero, and shaping the resulting game to appeal to speedrunners and fans of masocore games. And to that end, it’s marvelous. You pull off a dizzying dance of actions, and if you get it all right you will look and feel awesome. Screw up one step, and you’ll have to start the whole sequence over again. It’s rare for there to be only one way to resolve a situation, but whichever way you go about things, precision is demanded. And that, friends, is where things go ca-ca with this Switch version of the game. The technical performance is quite poor, leading to inconsistent framerates that absolutely will mess with your magnificent chains of violence. For a certain sort of person, Ghostrunner is a game with tremendous appeal. Unfortunately, the Switch port is not the way to experience it.

SwitchArcade Score: 3/5

New Releases

Ponpu ($14.99)

Time for another variation on Bomberman, friends. Ponpu sees you playing as a Duck-God seeking to save the universe from destruction even if it has to step on its siblings to do it. Instead of bombs, you have explosive eggs. Like in Bomberman, there’s a single-player mode here that most people won’t get into very much. But also like in Bomberman, there’s a very fun multiplayer mode included. Up to four players can join in, and there’s even online multiplayer support here. You can battle in three different modes, helping keep things fresh. The biggest stand-out in this game is its unusual presentation, with a cool hand-drawn look that appears to be the flavor of today. Decent, though it’s a hard sell versus just buying and playing Super Bomberman R.

Pixel Game Maker Series STEOS -Sorrow Song of Bounty Hunter- ($9.99)

The developer just, uh, went and put the tool they used to make the game in the title. Well, okay. This is an action game made using the Pixel Game Maker tool, a cousin to RPG Maker. It’s a shooter where instead of playing as the spaceship, you’re controlling a bipedal cannon stuck on the ground. The ships will try to shoot you, so feel free to return their feelings with your gunfire. There are 50 stages in all, and an unlockable mode for those who manage to finish the game. Not bad at all, really. If you’re on the hunt for a shooter that steps off the beaten path, give this one a look.

Johnny Rocket ($4.99)

This is a ridiculously short platformer with a cool doodle look to its visuals. Play as the heroic Johnny Rocket and take on the Evil Forces in three whole stages of action. Yes, that number is correct. This game takes about fifteen to twenty minutes to clear from start to finish, leaving you feeling like you just played a demo for a proper adventure. It’s very hard to recommend even at such a low price.


(North American eShop, US Prices)

Plenty of new discounts appeared over the weekend, but most of it is going to be quite familiar to regular readers. The Team 17 games are the most noteworthy of the bunch, but even they’re on sale often enough that it’s hard to get too excited. The outbox sees the first batch of last week’s Black Friday sales expiring, so if you had any designs on picking up any Idea Factory RPGs, now is the time to act. They probably won’t be on sale again for a long while.

Select New Games on Sale

Escape from the Universe ($4.99 from $9.99 until 12/2)
The Unholy Society ($4.99 from $9.99 until 12/2)
Moving Out ($14.99 from $24.99 until 12/6)
Golf With Your Friends ($11.99 from $19.99 until 12/6)
Neon Abyss ($15.99 from $19.99 until 12/6)
Ageless ($8.99 from $14.99 until 12/6)
Going Under ($15.99 from $19.99 until 12/6)
The Survivalists ($19.99 from $24.99 until 12/6)
Crown Trick ($15.99 from $19.99 until 12/6)
My Time at Portia ($7.49 from $29.99 until 12/6)
Automachef ($5.09 from $14.99 until 12/6)
Blasphemous ($12.49 from $24.99 until 12/6)
Mugsters ($2.99 from $14.99 until 12/6)
Overcooked Special ($4.99 from $19.99 until 12/6)
Overcooked! 2 ($12.49 from $24.99 until 12/6)

Worms W.M.D. ($7.49 from $29.99 until 12/6)
Yoku’s Island Express ($4.99 from $19.99 until 12/6)
Yooka-Laylee ($9.99 from $39.99 until 12/6)
Yooka-Laylee & Impossible Lair ($11.99 from $29.99 until 12/6)
Planet Alpha ($3.99 from $19.99 until 12/6)
Raging Justice ($3.74 from $14.99 until 12/6)
Sheltered ($3.74 from $14.99 until 12/6)
The Escapists: Complete ($3.74 from $14.99 until 12/6)
The Escapists 2 ($4.99 from $19.99 until 12/6)
The Room ($2.49 from $9.99 until 12/6)
Farabel ($1.99 from $9.99 until 12/7)
Pew Paw ($1.99 from $6.99 until 12/7)
WeakWood Throne ($2.99 from $4.99 until 12/7)
Grood ($2.49 from $4.99 until 12/7)
Mushroom Quest ($1.99 from $2.99 until 12/7)

Tardy ($1.99 from $9.99 until 12/7)
Event Horizon ($1.99 from $5.99 until 12/7)
Mad Carnage ($1.99 from $4.99 until 12/7)
Dark Burial ($1.99 from $3.99 until 12/8)
Dead Dungeon ($1.99 from $4.99 until 12/8)
Atomic Heist ($1.99 from $7.99 until 12/8)
One Person Story ($1.99 from $2.99 until 12/8)
Regalia: Of Men & Monarchs ($16.24 from $24.99 until 12/9)
My Memory of Us ($5.99 from $14.99 until 12/9)
Butcher ($2.99 from $9.99 until 12/9)
Cinders ($5.99 from $19.99 until 12/9)
MouseCraft ($6.49 from $9.99 until 12/9)
Project Warlock ($10.49 from $14.99 until 12/9)
The Wardrobe: Even Better ($9.99 from $19.99 until 12/10)
BFF or Die ($6.79 from $7.99 until 12/10)

Rocket Rabbit: Coin Race ($1.99 from $7.99 until 12/13)
Bridge Strike ($2.09 from $2.99 until 12/14)
Kakurasu World ($1.99 from $2.99 until 12/17)
Futoshiki Math ($2.99 from $6.99 until 12/17)
Strike Force Kitty ($1.99 from $4.99 until 12/17)
Viviette ($6.99 from $9.99 until 12/17)
Dream Alone ($1.99 from $9.99 until 12/17)
Kids: Farm Coloring ($2.99 from $4.99 until 12/17)
Connection Haunted: Server Error ($2.99 from $4.99 until 12/18)
Drag Racing Rivals ($4.99 from $9.99 until 12/18)
Powertris ($2.49 from $4.99 until 12/18)
Girabox ($1.99 from $2.49 until 12/18)
Akuto: Showdown ($1.99 from $7.99 until 12/18)
Ego Protocol: Remastered ($1.99 from $4.99 until 12/18)
Make War ($3.99 from $9.99 until 12/18)

Star Horizon ($3.99 from $9.99 until 12/18)
Creepy Tale ($3.99 from $9.99 until 12/18)
Pool Pro Gold ($4.99 from $9.99 until 12/18)
Akane ($1.99 from $4.99 until 12/18)
Rawr-Off ($1.99 from $2.99 until 12/18)
Nonograms Prophecy ($1.99 from $3.99 until 12/18)
More Dark ($3.99 from $4.99 until 12/18)
Coffee Crisis ($1.99 from $9.99 until 12/18)
Exorder ($1.99 from $12.99 until 12/18)
One Strike ($1.99 from $4.99 until 12/18)
Pirates: All Aboard! ($1.99 from $5.99 until 12/18)
I, Zombie ($1.99 from $4.99 until 12/18)
Top Speed: Drag & Fast Racing ($1.99 from $7.99 until 12/18)
Alder’s Blood ($9.99 from $19.99 until 12/19)
Traffix ($3.99 from $4.99 until 12/21)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, December 1st

#RaceDieRun ($1.99 from $9.99 until 12/1)
60 Seconds! ($4.99 from $9.99 until 12/1)
Aborigenus ($1.99 from $4.99 until 12/1)
AeternoBlade ($5.99 from $14.99 until 12/1)
Arc of Alchemist ($11.99 from $39.99 until 12/1)
Barbarous: Tavern of Emyr ($1.99 from $7.99 until 12/1)
Big Pharma ($5.89 from $29.99 until 12/1)
Billion Road ($20.09 from $29.99 until 12/1)
Blazing Beaks ($1.99 from $14.99 until 12/1)
Brunch Club ($1.44 from $14.49 until 12/1)
Charterstone: Digital ($18.74 from $24.99 until 12/1)
Clan N ($9.74 from $14.99 until 12/1)
Crazy Strike Bowing EX ($3.99 from $9.99 until 12/1)
Croc’s World 3 ($1.99 from $4.99 until 12/1)
Darkest Dungeon ($9.99 from $24.99 until 12/1)

Death’s Hangover ($2.49 from $4.99 until 12/1)
Dex ($7.99 from $19.99 until 12/1)
Diabolic ($1.99 from $4.99 until 12/1)
Eight-Minute Empire: Complete ($7.49 from $14.99 until 12/1)
Escape Doodland ($1.99 from $9.99 until 12/1)
Eyes: The Horror Game ($1.99 from $2.49 until 12/1)
Fairy Fencer F: ADF ($8.99 from $29.99 until 12/1)
Fight Crab ($14.99 from $19.99 until 12/1)
Fuser ($41.99 from $59.99 until 12/1)
Fuser VIP Edition ($69.99 from $99.99 until 12/1)
Gravity Rider Zero ($1.99 from $6.99 until 12/1)
Help Will Come Tomorrow ($3.99 from $19.99 until 12/1)
HyperParasite ($3.59 from $17.99 until 12/1)
Island Maze ($1.99 from $2.99 until 12/1)
Istanbul: Digital ($9.99 from $19.99 until 12/1)

Koloro ($1.99 from $9.99 until 12/1)
Mana Spark ($1.99 from $9.99 until 12/1)
Mary Skelter 2 ($19.99 from $39.99 until 12/1)
Metamorphosis ($9.99 from $24.99 until 12/1)
Minecraft Dungeons Hero Edtn ($19.99 from $29.99 until 12/1)
Mini Trains ($1.99 from $5.99 until 12/1)
Moero Chronicle Hyper ($9.99 from $19.99 until 12/1)
Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty ($19.99 from $29.99 until 12/1)
Pixel Gladiator ($1.99 from $6.99 until 12/1)
Pocket Mini Golf ($1.99 from $2.49 until 12/1)
Red Wings: Aces of the Sky ($4.99 from $19.99 until 12/1)
REKT! High Octane Stunts ($1.99 from $5.99 until 12/1)
Rimelands: Hammer of Thor ($1.99 from $9.99 until 12/1)
Save Your Nuts ($7.49 from $14.99 until 12/1)
Shalnor Legends: Sacred Lands ($1.99 from $9.99 until 12/1)

Space Pioneer ($1.99 from $9.99 until 12/1)
Stencil Art ($1.99 from $3.99 until 12/1)
Super Neptunia RPG ($19.99 from $39.99 until 12/1)
Swaps and Traps ($1.99 from $8.99 until 12/1)
Tactical Mind 2 ($1.99 from $4.99 until 12/1)
Tharsis ($4.79 from $11.99 until 12/1)
Unit 4 ($1.99 from $14.99 until 12/1)
Utopia 9: Volatile Vacation ($1.99 from $9.99 until 12/1)
Vampire: Coteries of NY ($9.99 from $19.99 until 12/1)
Vampire: Shadows of NY ($11.04 from $12.99 until 12/1)
Vosaria: LotF ($1.99 from $9.99 until 12/1)
Warlocks 2: God Slayers ($1.99 from $17.99 until 12/1)
We. The Revolution ($4.89 from $19.99 until 12/1)
Welcome to Primrose Lake ($1.99 from $7.99 until 12/1)
Zombie Blast Crew ($4.99 from $9.99 until 12/1)

That’s all for today and this month, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow to take a look at whatever new games happen to release. Empire of Sin is at present the only thing on the schedule, but I’m confident there will be more to talk about. We’ll also have whatever news and new sales come along in the next day, and maybe some review-type stuff. As usual, that’s all depending on how much time I have. I hope you all have a great Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!